Monday, March 10, 2014

Interview: Mary Elizabeth Summer

Please give a warm welcome to Mary Elizabeth Summer! Author of the upcoming book Trust Me I'm Lying coming out this fall!

Title: Trust Me I'm Lying
Author: Mary Elizabeth Summer
Release: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 320


Thanks so much for having me! I love talking books and writing. :-)

1. What got you into writing or have you always been a writer?

I've been a writer since fifth grade. I read books about writing, I took notes and highlighted them, I was a total nerd about writing. Then in high school, I decided I wanted to be an astronaut. (Kind of backward, I know.) I went to Space Camp and everything. But then in college, I realized that science equals math, and neither being my strong suit, I turned back to my original love of writing and haven't looked back since. (Well, maybe once or twice.)

2. What books, movies, things, etc inspire you the most?

I like sharp and snappy dialogue, high stakes, and character. Genre doesn't matter as much as storytelling. Some of my favorite shows are Scandal, Firefly, Leverage, Battlestar Galactica, Vampire Diaries, West Wing, White Collar, and Revenge. I'm listing shows instead of books, because my greatest writing strength is voice. I hear a voice in my ear, and the dialogue just pours out on the page. I know I got that skill from watching so much TV. So, people, don't let your parents tell you TV rots your brain. TV taught me how to tell a story.

I love Firefly!

3. What are your favorite things to do when not writing?

Wellll, TV. :-) And wine tasting, long walks, cat gifs (if I'm being honest), reading (okay, that one's obvious), OMG I sound boring. Let's try this again: food fights, stretching, coffeeing (yes, coffee is a verb), organizing my closets, skating, building massive tent cities in my living room, torturing my cat with belly kisses, and creating new, innovative recipes using sriracha (see author bio).

4. Trust Me I'm Lying is your debut novel, how does it feel to journey into the land of published author?

It feels like someone's taken a giant, glittery rainbow full of awesome and bludgeoned me over the head with it a few thousand times. In other words, awesome, though also a little confusing and painful at times.

That's an awesome description!

5. What was the first novel you ever wrote?

The first full, finished novel I ever wrote was a new-adult contemporary (though it was way before new-adult was a thing), about a young professional in her early twenties trying to navigate through a series of embarrassing encounters with her already-taken crush. Meanwhile, her best friend is hiding a devastating secret that our intrepid heroine must learn how to cope with. It was totally cheesy, and I loved it. I wept while writing it. Wept.

6. Let's play a game, Two Truths and a Lie. You give me two truths about yourself, as well as one lie, and we'll have the readers answer which they think is the lie in the comments!

I got my passport stolen when I spent the night on a beach in Caesarea, Israel, and then when I went to the consulate to get a new passport, one of the guys who worked there offered to give me a camel if I'd marry him.

I currently have a cat on my lap.

My dad used to be a psychic spy for the U.S. Army, and my cinematographer brother is currently making a documentary about my dad's thirty-year career as a remote viewer.

7. When is your favorite time to write and where do you write?

I write when/wherever I can manage--even on my phone while riding the bus into work. Having a full-time job and a three-year-old as well as a writing career will do that to you. But my favorite time is when I get up on Saturday at 5 in the morning and go to write at my neighborhood coffee shop. I'm usually the only one there, and I can really sink into the world I'm writing. It's bliss.

8. What can readers expect from Trust Me I'm Lying, in five words.

Cons, disguises, banter, law-breaking, sacrifice

9. What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I love editing. I do love the initial drafting, too, because it can be such euphoria when a plot finally comes together. But editing is where the true magic happens. It can be tedious and take forever, but it's almost always my second, third, or fourth pass that makes a scene come truly alive.

10. Last, but not least, what advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Getting a book published is like Sisyphus pushing Mt. Everest up the Grand Canyon over and over. From writing to editing to querying to submission to editing again. It's grueling. But it's worth it. And here's the best part: you are guaranteed to be successful if you follow one simple rule. Never, ever, ever give up. Rejection and waiting and more rejection is not just a part of the process, it's a necessary and healthy part of the process. Honor that, go easy on yourself, and just keep writing.

Thanks again so much for hosting me! I really enjoyed the questions and am looking forward to sharing my book with you all in October! :-D
Author Bio:

Mary Elizabeth Summer contributes to the delinquency of minors by writing books about unruly teenagers with criminal leanings. She has a BA in creative writing from Wells College, and her philosophy on life is "you can never go wrong with sriracha sauce." She lives in Portland Oregon with her partner, their daughter, and their evil overlor—er, cat. She is represented by the incomparable Laura Bradford of the Bradford Literary Agency. TRUST ME, I'M LYING is her debut novel.

You Can Find Her At:


Fans of Ally Carter’s Heist Society novels will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.

Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.

You Can Find it At:
Powells Books


I'm getting a good number of bookmarks, so there will be multiple winners, and expect some other assorted swag as well! The giveaway is international!

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  1. I don't know. I guess the one about your dad.

    1. Nope! That one's true! Good guess, though. ;-)

  2. I've been looking forward to reading this ever since I first saw the cover reveal. I loved the interview! I think the lie is about the passport.

  3. The lie was the cat on your lap. Trick question. Cannot wait to read your book. So proud of you.